By Justus de Goede MPL, DA Tshwane Constituency Head:
Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Jacob Mamabolo’s claims that protests and unrest have decreased since the inception of Premier David Makhura’s Service Delivery War Room (SDWR) has been rebuffed by data that proves otherwise.
According to Municipal IQ, of all service delivery protests around the country in 2014, Gauteng – at 21%, experienced the highest frequency of unrest with this figure escalating to 25% in the first quarter of 2015.
In 2014 when Premier Makhura took office, the SDWR was established to improve the manner in which government rolls out services to residents and speed up the reaction to protest action.
One year later, details of this project are still unknown.
Of major concern is that despite claiming that all structures in the Province have been involved in the SDWR – Members of Mayoral Committees, officials, Councillors and Community Development Workers, no indication has been given as to where these facilities are situated, who is operating them and how they are to be contacted.
It is clear that the manner in which the public has been kept in the dark on this issue requires explanation from Premier Makhura, and especially to provide assurances that the project has no connection with next year’s Local Government Elections.
It appears that the War Room is nothing more than a PR exercise, of which there will be little of substance to show for public funds used to finance this pet project of the Premier.